A former Myrtle Beach legislator is appealing his three-year prison sentence.
Former State Rep. Thad Viers began serving a 37-month sentence in October for a money laundering conviction. Prosecutors had targeted Viers for his role as attorney in a paving contractor’s scheme to hide assets from a bonding company.
That contractor Marlon Weaver was on the hook after his company defaulted on a state highway contract and the insurer stepped in with a $6 million bond. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Viers had accepted a $500,000 cashier’s check to hide some of the contractor’s investments and ownership in a marina as the bonding company sought repayment.
The Myrtle Beach Sun-News reported Wednesday the Republican’s attorneys filed the appeal this week. Besides the prison sentence, the former lawmaker was also ordered to repay $875,000 and serve three additional years probation. Viers had agreed to plead guilty in April in exchange for other charges against him — including one count of lying to an investigating IRS agent — to be dropped. He apologized in a statement the time, saying he did not ask the questions he should have but that, “As a man I must take responsibility for my actions and am doing so.”
Viers served in the House for a decade until he resigned after being charged with harassing an ex-girlfriend in 2012. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment in that case and was sentenced to 60 days in prison, to be served on weekends, and a year of probation. The money laundering accusations are alleged to have occurred two years before his resignation, although his statements to the IRS occurred in March 2014.
Attorney Trey Cockrell argued Viers was a minor player in the scheme and got little financial benefit, noting that Weaver himself had received a lesser punishment.